Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

English Language and Literatures

First Advisor

Michael Gavin

Second Advisor

David Miller

Abstract

In June of 1645, the Parliamentarian New Model Army seized a packet of King Charles I’s private correspondence at the battle of Naseby. This seizure was a crucial propagandistic victory that enabled the Parliamentarians to do irreparable damage to Charles’ public image and, in contrast, to ingratiate themselves to the public. The Parliamentarians carefully selected, decoded, and arranged the letters in an effort to reveal Charles as a duplicitous ruler that cared more for his wife, Henrietta Maria, than his people. The collection is increasingly seen by critics as a case study in mediation through print—not just of private correspondence, but of the King’s Office itself; now, TEI encoding enables it to become a case study in mediation through digitization. The remediation of this collection creates or allows for a mutable construction of images of both the King and Parliament. The user takes an active role in constructing their understanding of the document and its historical moment. The semi-structured nature of an interactive document allows for new connections to be made—or severed—by the user in the specific instance of reading. The user now has more direct access to the annotations appended to the print edition, but also has the chance to read the letters without the ideological apparatus that the Parliamentarians worked so hard to create. The King’s Cabinet is no longer simply opened—revealing a structured, selected content—but has been splintered and left for the user to reassemble as they choose.

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